It’s 110 degrees outside, and while you wouldn’t think much grows in this crazy heat, eggplant is in full swing in the desert southwest. Actually, this summer hasn’t really bothered me as much as last summer did. Perhaps it’s because I’m not in my third trimester this year? I’m sure that has something to do with it. Still..I embarrassingly melt after being outside more than 15 minutes at a time; a consequence of sitting in an overly air-conditioned cube farm all day long. So when I hear that Guy from On The Vine put in a 15 hour day picking his amazing tomatoes, eggplant, squash, and microgreens the day before the North Scottsdale Farmers Market, or talk to Galen (from The Backyard Farmer), a new father of twins, about his latest honey harvest after a sleepless night…all I can say to these farmers is “thank you”. Thank you for working so hard to bring us good, honest, and local food.
I picked up several different varieties of eggplant from On The Vine, and wanted to grill and glaze them with oyster sauce. However, my husband is not a shellfish fan, so naturally he has a thing against….oyster sauce. When I try to explain that this is something that is normally in those lettuce cups and fried rice he loves, he just gives me that (I’ll die before you make me eat it) look. So, I strategically did not put the word oyster sauce in the title of this recipe or leave the bottle on the kitchen counter for him to see. Usually I have to ask him if he likes something, but as we were eating, he just blurted out, “I really like this, what’s in it?” Shhh…don’t tell.
For the recipe, feel free to use any other veggies that would be good on the grill. I used vibrant bell peppers from The Backyard Farmer.
Asian Glazed Eggplant
4 small eggplant, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
4 slices red onion
salt and pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 tsp chili pepper flakes(or one thai chili)
3 T oyster sauce*
1 T water
1 T honey or agave nectar
salt and pepper
4 leaves thai basil (I used regular basil)
Heat grill pan to high heat. Toss eggplant, bell pepper, and onion in olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Place veggies on the grill plan and turn until grill marks appear, and flip.
On medium heat, drizzle olive oil into saute pan, and add garlic and chili pepper flakes. Add oyster sauce, water, agave nectar. You want the consistency of the glaze to coat the spoon. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss the grilled veggies with sauce in saute pan. Top with basil. Serve with brown rice. Serves 4.
*You can find oyster sauce (I used Lee Kum Kee brand) at the Asian section of your grocery store or at an Asian supermarket.